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Learning stages

Roadmap to Becoming a Rider

Say your goals do involve riding the horse.  If you're a beginner, or have limited  experience with being on a horse, you'll have to acquire new physical skills and condition  your body to new ways of moving.  Even if you have logged many hours in the saddle, you're never "done" improving as a rider.

Generally, a rider's learning curve consists of three stages:

Stage 1:  Development of the physical skills (strength, coordination and balance) to stay  in the saddle while the horse is moving.

Stage 2: Achieving harmony with the horse as it moves; i.e. not impeding or unbalancing the horse as it moves with a rider on board.  This can now be called passive riding.

Stage 3: Ability to influence the horse's movements and behaviors in a positive way.   Includes control of the horse's actions to ensure safety, and to impose the rider's goals  of how, where and when the horse moves.

In the last stage, two-way communication between rider and horse is necessary. From this point on, any interaction between horse and person constitutes a training process; whether the person is on the ground or in the saddle.

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